It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Howard Wolowitz returning from space! Our favorite NASA astronaut (no offense, Buzz Aldrin) landed home safely during tonight’s episode of The Big Bang Theory, but didn’t quite receive a hero’s welcome. In my favorite episode of the season, Howard was abandoned by all his loved ones, while Penny and Amy proved that girls rule and boys (like autotrophs) drool. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Jim Parsons (11-19 of 19)
Ashton Kutcher owes Charlie Sheen big time. Since replacing Sheen on Two and a Half Men, Kutcher has rocketed to the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ list of highest paid TV actors. The business magazine unveiled the list on Wednesday, following the July announcement of TV’s highest paid actresses.
Between May 2011 and May 2012, Ashton Kutcher earned $24 million, Forbes estimates. Last year, Sheen was in the top spot with $40 million, but this year he didn’t even make the list. Kutcher’s earnings are also boosted by his appearances in Nikon camera commercials and his continued investments in Silicon Valley. He got in early on Skype, Spotify and Airbnb.
Kutcher’s Two and a Half Men co-star Jon Cryer also made Forbes’ top 10, moving down from spot No. 4 to No. 7 but earning $2 million more than he did from May 2010 to May 2011.
Others who made the list for a second consecutive year are Ray Romano, Mark Harmon, Patrick Dempsey and Hugh Laurie. Check out the full list below: READ FULL STORY
A high-flying, basket-tossing new musical based on the 2000 teen cheerleader comedy Bring It On took an unusual (backward-somersaulting) path to its Broadway opening this week. Instead of launching a national tour after a splashy New York run, the energetic tuner (which is only loosely based on the Kirsten Dunst film, plot-wise) played in 13 cities starting last November before bowing on the Great White Way. In my B+ review, I noted the youthful cast and a score, by Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), with lyrics by Miranda and Amanda Green (High Fidelity), that actually “sounds like it was composed in this century.”
Also on Broadway, it’s the final curtain this weekend for three shows: Fela!, a short-run musical revival that has been doing anemic box office; Harvey, the comedy revival ending its limited summer run so star Jim Parsons can return to L.A. to shoot The Big Bang Theory; and Memphis, the 2010 Tony-winning musical that is expected to recoup its $12 million investment this weekend after 30 previews and 1,166 performances over the course of nearly three years. (At that rate, imagine how long it might take Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark to break even.) READ FULL STORY
In this week’s Entertainment Weekly special report cover story, writer Mark Harris examines the new, casual method gay celebrities are using to reveal their sexuality publicly for the first time. Fifteen years ago, when Ellen DeGeneres decided to come out of the closet, it was big news. Not just big: It was the cover of Time magazine, and a major story on Oprah, Primetime Live, and CNN. Last month, another star of a popular TV comedy went public with his homosexuality. But the news that The Big Bang Theory’s Emmy-winner Jim Parsons is gay was reported with such matter-of-fact understatement that many people’s first reaction was a quick Google search to see if maybe he was out already and we’d all just failed to notice.
But sometimes big news arrives quietly. That new blink-and-you’ll-miss-it style is an important hallmark of changing times. READ FULL STORY
Tony Award voters may have been falling slowly for the musical Once, which won eight prizes (including Best Musical), but theater fans at home weren’t quite as enthused. Despite the efforts of Neil Patrick Harris and special award winner Hugh Jackman, the CBS telecast posted its worst ratings ever. In the days that followed, a bunch of Broadway shows announced plans to close: Anything Goes (Aug. 5), Godspell (June 24), The Lyons (July 1), and A Streetcar Named Desire (July 22). Three other new productions — Don’t Dress for Dinner, Other Desert Cities (featuring Tony winner Judith Light), and Venus in Fur (starring Tony winner Nina Arianda) — will have their final curtain calls this Sunday. Even so, this week saw the opening of three major new productions. Here’s our take:
Harvey Jim Parson (above with Carol Kane) is “perfectly suited” to the role Jimmy Stewart made famous in the 1950 film about a seemingly ordinary guy whose constant companion is a six-foot-three-inch rabbit named Harvey that no one else can see. While the star of The Big Bang Theory “commands the stage in a surprisingly offhanded way,” I write that the overall production of the revival is “oddly sluggish” and “lurches from scene to scene when it should be bunny-hopping briskly along.” EW grade: B–
Rapture, Blister, Burn “There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching super-smart characters make exceedingly dumb decisions,” writes Melissa Rose Bernardo of Gina Gionfriddo’s “fascinating new drama” starring Amy Brenneman as a middle-aged academic who’s single, unmarried, and unhappy. EW grade: A–
Storefront Church Despite fine performances by a cast that includes Giancarlo Esposito, Bob Dishy, and Tonya Pinkins, writer-director John Patrick Shanley’s “hamfisted” new play about a church vs. state conflict never quite jells in the way that his earlier Pulitzer winner Doubt did. “The characters feel like proxies rather than flesh-and-blood humans, and the situations in which Shanley places them too often strain credulity,” I write. EW grade: C+
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For what’s already shaping up to be one of the most celebrity-driven Tony Awards telecasts ever (Neil Patrick Harris! James Earl Jones! John Lithgow! Others!), the American Theatre Wing has just announced its first batch of presenters that will appear on the June 10 ceremony to dole out Broadway’s most prestigious honorifics.
The list does a surprisingly good job of spanning stage and screen (both small and silver), including names like Nick Jonas, Amanda Seyfried, Tyler Perry, Jessica Chastain, Jim Parsons, Paul Rudd, Ellen Barkin, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Candice Bergen, Christopher Plummer, James Marsden, Mandy Patinkin, Sheryl Crow, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
More celebrity presenters are expected to be announced in the coming week, as well as a full list of the scheduled performances from this year’s crop of musicals. The Tony Awards air on Sunday, June 10 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.
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This Week on Stage: Broadway season wraps up with 'Ghost,' 'Leap of Faith,' and Matthew Broderick singing Gershwin
There was a mad crush of premieres this week on Broadway — seven in all, vying to open just under the eligibility wire for this June’s Tony Awards. (Nominations will be announced Tuesday, May 1.) It’s been a surprisingly deep year in each of the four major categories (play, play revival, musical, musical revival).
• A Streetcar Named Desire Despite the occasional jarring moments in director Emily Mann’s revival of Tennessee Williams’ drama — which features TV stars Blair Underwood (The Event) as Stanley and Nicole Ari Parker (Soul Food) as Blanche DuBois — EW critic Lisa Schwarzbaum found the production “still reaches its destination as a mid-century classic of American theater.” EW grade: B+
• Ghost I was disappointed by the musical version of the 1990 Oscar winner, which features a new score by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and veteran hitmaker Glen Ballard (as well as “Unchained Melody”). The chief draws are the high-tech set and magic effects that let the hero walk through walls. “Like Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, the musical version of Ghost haunts the eye, not the ear.” EW grade: C READ FULL STORY
The Lion King roared into first place among the Main Stem’s biggest earners this week when it surpassed Phantom of the Opera as the highest grossing Broadway show of all time. Otherwise, it was a quiet seven days in the stage world, with the announcement that Jim Parsons and Kristen Chenoweth would name this year’s Tony nominees creating the most buzz.
In L.A., online news editor Laura Hertzfeld saw Mikhail Baryshnikov perform in his native tongue for the first time in the Russian and French In Paris. She calls the play, about a World War I general and his lover, “well-paced and quietly beautiful,” giving it an A.
Also on the West Coast, writer Tanner Stransky watched Jane Kaczmarek live the hardscrabble life of a fortysomething high school dropout in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People. The “shining star” of the A-grade drama, “nails the blue-collar accent, the dramatic (and comedic) timing, and the rode-hard-put-away-wet look of her South Boston character.”
Senior writer Chris Nashawaty was not as impressed with the Broadway debut of Eric Simonson’s Magic/Bird, which he calls “thin” and “primarily concerned with dramatizing the inner lives of these men, which may have been the least exciting thing about them.” He gives the show a C+.
For more stage news and reviews, check EW’s stage hub.
Fresh off the news that Neil Patrick Harris will return as a third-time Tony host, the awards show has made another big-name announcement: Broadway babes Kristin Chenoweth and Jim Parsons will announce the nominees for this year’s telecast.
Though Chenoweth and Parsons headline GCB and The Big Bang Theory, respectively, the two are no strangers to the theater. Chenoweth picked up a Tony in 1999 for You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and originated the role of Glinda in Wicked, while Parsons has made the rounds in the 2011 revival of Normal Heart and the upcoming revival of Harvey. READ FULL STORY
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